Every case of Cerebral Palsy is different, as the level of severity and the combination of signs and symptoms differ. A person with total paralysis may require constant 24-hour care and have to rely on special types of equipment to move or walk. On the other hand, the one partially paralytic, might have a slight tremor and require a little assistance.
Struggles With Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy is a disorder of movements which occur during birth or in early childhood. Additionally, it damages the brain’s functioning and makes a person paralysed. Individuals require extra support, help or technology to manage routine tasks.
People with this condition face various challenges every day. Doctors classify CP according to the main type of movement disorder involved. This depends on the areas of the brain that are affected. People may experience uncontrolled or random movements, followed by poor balance and coordination. Further, muscles can become stiff, weak or tight and in some cases, people have shaky movements or tremors. Consequently, people with CP may have problems while swallowing, breathing, in head and neck control, bladder and bowel control, eating and may even have dental and digestive problems.
– Emotional issues:
It is one of the most common issues which children with cerebral palsy may face. They are more prone to emotional difficulties because of the brain damage. Moreover, if the brain gets damaged, then the pathways and networks which help in controlling emotions may get disrupted.
– Mobility issues:
1 in 3 children with cerebral palsy will be unable to walk properly.
– Communication issues:
Cerebral palsy can affect a person’s ability to finely coordinate the muscles around the mouth and tongue, that are needed for speech. As a result, some people with CP may not be able to produce any sounds.
1 in 4 people with cerebral palsy cannot talk.
– Intellectual issue:
1 in 2 people with cerebral palsy has an intellectual disability. 1 in 5 people has a moderate to severe intellectual disability. In fact,
greater the level of a person’s physical impairment, the more likely it is that they will have an intellectual disability.
– Hearing impairment:
1 in 20 people with CP has some level of hearing impairment. 1 in 25 children with cerebral palsy will be deaf.
– Learning difficulties:
Obviously, children with CP may experience specific learning difficulties. Also, these may include a short attention span, motor planning difficulties e.t.c.
Although cerebral palsy is a lifelong disability, there are many ways that can help reduce its impact on the body and the individual quality of life. Also, the treatment differs from person to person. The various types of treatment can help people to make the most of their abilities and physical fitness, prevent complications and improve their quality of life.
– Therapy: there are various kinds of therapies like behavioural, social, physical, recreational. All these can help your child to become as active and mobile as possible.
– Medical treatment: this can help to control some of the signs and symptoms and prevent further future complications. Patients are provided with devices and equipment, such as braces, casts, and splints.
Facts and Statistics
– In every 15 hours, an Austrailian child is born with cerebral palsy.
– Of all the children with CP, 40% are born prematurely and 60% born at term.
– Approximately 34,000 are living with CP in Australia
– The cost of cerebral palsy an estimated expenditure is of $1.47 billion per year.
Edited by Preetika Dubey